Normally Microsoft only steals embraces things of Google’s that Google isn’t looking to hand out for free while snubbing Google on the things they create, open source and free, to make the web better, like WebP and SPDY, but things that would only make a big impact if all the major players bothered to adopt them. But Microsoft is breaking character and has confirmed incorporation of support for the protocol in their next iteration of Internet Explorer, which is good news because now websites like ours have more reason to flip the switch on something that would lower our site’s load latency, the amount of bytes, individual requests and connections your browser needs to make to load a page, better everything – but not compellingly worthwhile to most when a major player like IE doesn’t support it. And now it will. Great.
If you’ve got Android and would like to see for yourself, install Chrome for Android Beta and follow these instructions which will let you browse any site, whether it supports SPDY or not, through Google’s SPDY proxy servers which basically translate the sites you visit on the fly into an awesome SPDY package to stream to you. You may feel a big difference off the bat regardless of your connection speed, and you can also check the browser’s stats to see how many bytes this SPDY thing saved you. To some extent that would reflect what the web would be like with everybody using SPDY and, hopefully one day, other nice things… like WebP.
While I don’t use Internet Explorer except to see how screwed up my sites look to IE users, I’m pleased with Microsoft about this nonetheless as it will benefit the web and it is a sign that they are willing to put aside their pride, or whatever it is that tends to make them not do such things, and get with the damn program. Paul Thurrott’s scoop here, his source here, more on SPDY on Google and Wikipedia, and if you run your own server, get started here. Other things Google’s done to make the web better right here.
While I’m obsessed with it, yes I realize most of you don’t care about this SPDY thing, so I guess the real news here is Microsoft opening up a bit and putting everyone’s interests on their radar of things to consider doing even though they involve more cooperation than litigation. Kudos, Microsoft. Big fan.